How many times have you heard your patients say “Okay, I’ll think about it,” in response to your treatment plans? In fact, many patients won’t return for treatment if they aren’t fully convinced the treatment plan will help. Let’s dive into the psychology of why a patient says “yes” (or “no”) to your treatment and look at how you can improve your odds of getting that “yes” response.
When you propose a treatment plan to a patient, two distinct parts of their brain are activated:
- Reason/Logic: This part of the brain works to understand and weighs the facts as you explain them. Surprisingly, recent studies indicate that patients remember only 6% of factual information that you share with them.
- Emotions: This is influenced by how the patient felt in the practice, how they felt while talking to you, and how welcoming the environment of your practice is.
According to a Dr. Michael Kesner, when it comes to making decisions, 85% of the process is based on our experiences (feelings and emotions), and only 15% is based on reason and logic. So, even if you suggested the best treatment plan and were the most qualified dentist in the world, it would not necessarily translate into a patient saying “yes.”
Emotions are closely associated with decision making
Our decision-making process is significantly affected by the emotional epicenter of the brain. So, if you really want to encourage patients to say “yes,” you need to emphasize the emotional aspects of the decision. Instead of talking about problems, solutions and facts, you can shift your efforts towards impacting emotions. This can be achieved by implementing a few simple ideas:
1. Making a great first impression
Patients begin to create an impression of your practice as soon as they walk through the door. Usually they see your front-desk staff first. That’s when a patient’s experience begins to take shape. Making a great first impression is half the battle won. Your front-desk staff should have a clearly defined protocol to welcome new patients. Greeting a new patient with a gentle smile, offering them a glass of water or something to read, and playing light music are a few ways to build a great first impression.
2. Building emotional connections
Every patient enters your consulting room with their own collection of emotions, fears, and expectations. As soon as a patient begins talking with you, start building an emotional connection with them. Acknowledge their problems and ensure that they feel comfortable being with you. People build a positive emotional connection when they feel that they are heard, respected, and cared for.
3. Talk about consequences
Most dentists never share with their patients how neglecting to invest in a treatment will negatively impact their lives. It is important to educate your patients on the negative impact of a postponed treatment. Talk about how it’s going to affect their lives if they choose not to invest in the dental treatment you’ve recommended. You want them to integrate this information in such a way that it elicits an emotional response.
Helping patients emotionally connect to the importance of oral health, will encourage greater commitment to your treatment plans. This means you might just get that “yes” you were looking for!
One a final note
Financial concerns are a big reason why many patients say “no” to treatment. If cost of treatment is the reason your patients are saying “no,” then you can convert them to a “yes” by using SimplePay. SimplePay offers a great financing program that approves every patient. Click here to learn more.